Geo Week News

July 28, 2021

More than a doghouse: Percepto’s Base for Spot could empower autonomous inspection

The solution provides the robotic dog with capabilities that can enable a fully autonomous inspection cycle.

For industrial and commercial business owners, there is a balance between the cost of continuous security monitoring and the payoff of loss prevention and reduction. From infrared security systems to live security monitoring, industrial and commercial operations require ongoing security, which can be costly or still require additional personnel to maintain. 

The high cost of live monitoring through traditional security companies may make it difficult for small and mid-level industrial companies to use them. Couple that with the need for specialized officers, and some businesses are left unable to meet their security needs within their budget. 

Cue Spot. Spot, a robotic dog designed by Boston Dynamics, has already made its way onto construction sites and for applications in reality capture. However, these applications are not necessarily turnkey from an automation perspective. 

Autonomous inspection company, Percepto, has developed a fully integrative autonomous monitoring system that works in outdoor applications, hoping to lower the barrier to entry for those looking for autonomous solutions. 

Base for Spot can provide the robotic dog with the capabilities to work a fully autonomous inspection cycle. The Autonomous Inspection and Monitoring (AIM) software controls the opening and closure of the Base without the need for on-site staff to attend the robot, safeguarding the robot while it charges in between missions.

The technology is designed to work even outside and in remote environments and changing weather conditions, says Michael Perry, Vice President of Business Development at Boston Dynamics. 

“The Percepto Base for Spot widely expands the potential use cases for Spot by offering superb protection from the elements. The enclosure, combined with Percepto AIM, provides our mutual clients the ability to automatically and autonomously deploy Spot in isolated but vital locations regardless of the weather conditions.”

The technology found in The Base for Spot is similar to Percepto’s other AUV solution, Sparrow. Sparrow works as a “drone-in-a-box” and deploys where it is needed based on security monitoring needs. Sparrow and Spot are also capable of working together for a terrestrial and aerial approach to monitoring. Spot is designed with mobility modeled after dogs,  and is reported to be able to go anywhere that a live animal would be able to access. Once deployed, Spot will locate the area that needs monitoring and target the area or areas. It is also capable of getting more in-depth with areas depending on security needs and adjust parameters depending on different missions. 

After a successful deployment of Percepto’s Sparrow drone for a number of years, Florida Power & Light is one of the first companies to showcase the integration of Spot along with other robots for truly autonomous outdoor remote inspection as part of their hurricane recovery plan.

With continuous live streaming, facilities managers can monitor all of Spot’s “missions” using Percepto Base. Customizable settings mean that Spot can also be set to live or not to live stream depending on the mission. The live streaming capabilities and continuous data collection are not hindered by sometimes unreliable wi-fi signals. LTE coverage ensures the technology can live stream and send data anywhere it goes as long as there is cell reception.  

The coverage that Spot offers is intended for security applications, but could also be used for construction progress monitoring and facilities management for manufacturing. Spot can not only increase the security of an area but can also help to reduce operational costs associated with monitoring, no matter what it is “looking” at. 

On the heels of other automation partnerships happening in construction, this smart hub for Spot may enable more companies to launch their own autonomous inspection programs. 

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